Jesus with the rich young ruler

(Luke 18:18-24 NIV)  A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” {19} “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. {20} You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'” {21} “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. {22} When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” {23} When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. {24} Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!

Responding to God the way He deserves

The ruler called Jesus good. Jesus explained that that tantamount to calling Him God. Then if he is calling Jesus God, he should be prepared to submit totally to this God. But he could not respond appropriately to someone he called God. He refused to do what Jesus asked him to do.

Are we responding appropriately to someone we call God? When we call Him Lord, do we really intend to make Him the Lord of our life?

Jesus does not force religion on anyone

Jesus was gentleman when it comes to witnessing. He never forced His religion on another. He knows it is impossible to force religion on another because one needs to believe out of free will.

In the early history of Islam we saw much compulsion in religion. “Convert or die” became the slogan of the warrior Muslims. In many Muslim countries today, if you are found to have left the Islamic faith, you will be asked to convert back to Islam or else face arrest or other punishment.

Christians must not commit the same mistake when it comes to witnessing. Our duty is to encourage someone to believe. When people feel that we are forcing them, they may avoid you totally. We should balance persistence with gentleness.

Jesus expelled the false belief that we can be good enough for God

The reason Jesus told the young ruler to keep the commandments when the young ruler asked about what he must do to inherit eternal life can be found in verse 21; the young ruler did not realize that he is a sinner.

{21} “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

Jesus wanted to prove to him that even he is not without sin.”You still lack one thing”, Jesus said in verse 22. He has in fact broken the most important commandment of all, that is loving God with all his heart, soul and might (Deut 6:5). That was why Jesus asked him to sell all he has, give it to the poor and follow Him. When he could not do that, clearly Jesus has succeeded in proving that even he is not without sin.

Some people think that they can be good enough for God. But actually no one can. If we are honest, we will admit we have done wrong things in our life.

(Rom 3:20-22 NIV)  Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. {21} But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. {22} This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

We are good enough for God not when we observe the law because we can never do that totally. We are good enough for God when we approach Him through our faith in Jesus Christ.